On Friday, Team Oportunidad hiked to a renowned cheese farm and Italian restaurant in the picturesque town of Acul. Enjoying our meal on the delightfully breezy front porch, we experienced some amazing views of the surrounding mountains and the town itself. Everyone agreed that the delicious cheese was well worth the hike (and braving the many bees that also enjoy hanging around the restaurant!).

Beginning our day at 8am, we hiked directly up the mountain for a strenuous hour, and then enjoyed a more leisurely hike down the other side into Acul. Trekking both up and down the mountain treated us to remarkable views of cows and people balanced on the side of the mountain in their cornfields. Upon descending into Acul, we had been instructed to follow the main road, which leads directly to the Italian restaurant. However, this so-called “main road” dirt path actually required multiple turns and recalibrations. Team Oportunidad is definitely improving in our ability to ask for directions!

This hike to Acul, while physically strenuous, was well worth the walk for the views, the food, and the camaraderie. Our work here in Nebaj with stoves, lamps, and water bottles has been similarly strenuous but also very rewarding. As we begin to unpack and analyze data from our surveys of communities surrounding Nebaj, we are looking forward to seeing a clearer picture of our feasibility study come into focus, much like how we were finally able to see Acul after turning a bend in the mountain path. Walking anywhere in Nebaj and the surrounding areas takes a good bit of faith that your destination will indeed be somewhere ahead. Our work here in Nebaj is similar, as we focus on micro projects with the belief that they will lead us to answers regarding our macro feasibility study of new products. As we continue walking and learning with the local people of Nebaj and with one another, our path is sure to be worthwhile.